Following a big sweep in St. Louis over the weekend, the Atlanta Braves will now play back-to-back two-game series this week. The first opponent? The Reds, who enter Monday with a record of 17-16 after winning on a walk-off grand slam against the Nationals.
Despite having some fantastic hitters in the middle of their lineup, Cincinnati ranks 21st overall in runs scored this season. The Reds have had to rely on their pitching staff this season for most of their wins. As a staff, they feature an impressive ERA of 3.34 and FIP (read more here) of 3.79.
Joey Votto continues to hurt baseballs wherever he goes and is the leader for the club. He's hitting .319/.466/.593 now following his three-homer day on Sunday. Jay Bruce has also been phenomenal this season, posting an OPS of .967. There two are the big sluggers for the Reds and they rely heavily on them for their run production. Slow them down and the Braves win this series pretty easily. That will be far from an easy task, though.
Young shortstop Zack Cozart has been very solid both at the plate and in the field thus far, recording a WAR (read more here) of 1.2 up until now. Third baseman Todd Frazier has been on fire lately, although he has appeared in just a handful of games this year and is prone to strikeouts.
Start Times & Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 7:10 p.m. - Randall Delgado (2-3, 4.54 ERA, 3.78 FIP) vs. Homer Bailey (1-3, 4.93 ERA, 5.03 FIP)
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. - Tim Hudson (1-1, 4.50 ERA, 3.23 FIP) vs. Johnny Cueto (4-0, 1.12 ERA, 3.01 FIP)